Published August 30, 2020
Is she harajoking?
Once upon a time, maybe.This is because Yeo Kaa is an artist who never thought she'd be one, someone her own art teachers doubted. But one really needs to see past the few recurring and tempting pedestrian descriptions of her work -- cutesy and yet dark and personal -- or the ones that border on the dismissive like anime, gore, jolog-speak or a cartoonish color palette. This imagery that's drawn from trauma and all that good stuff that artists have been known to channel is achieved with the disciplined rigor of studio experimentation, one that's apparent by looking past all of that kawaii-ness.
She casts her inner person in her own brand of cathartic fantasies. To steal from Surrealism, they're as beaufitul as the chance encounter of open wounds and bubble gum cotton candy in a bathtub. She does so in a way that's sustainable, using a recurring set of tools or images, particularly the girl with the big sparkly eyes, which she repurposes or rearranges into different canvases and sculptures, at times, achieving grand and ambitious results.
Yeo Kaa is a Filipino multi-media artist mostly known for paintings. She has had quite a few solo shows, including in the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, and Germany.